I joined the Big Table Group in early 2021 and as I reflect back on this past year, I am hugely proud of of the people in our business and our industry partners across our supply chains in showing their commitment and resilience during the global pandemic. Today, the challenges are even greater as we face huge geopolitical uncertainties, increasing legislation and for many people, financial hardship.
Despite these challenges, I believe that the Big Table Group will continue to do business in an ethical and sustainable way and make a positive contribution to the economy, the environment and society. Our approach to Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) takes a holistic view of the environmental and social impacts created by our restaurant and supply chain operations. Our ESG strategy provides us with a framework to fully understand and measure these impacts and this informs our progress reporting towards our ultimate goal of being Net Zero by 2030. As a responsible business, it is important that we hold ourselves to account with ambitious long-term targets and we are making good progress in these early stages on carbon reduction, waste management and sustainable sourcing.
We remain committed to ensuring that people working in any part of our business and supply chains are treated ethically and with respect. And we will stay true to our principles of equality, diversity and inclusivity, listening and communicating with openness and honesty.
The success of our ESG journey cannot be done alone and we work with external stakeholders, including Government, regulators, NGOs, private companies, organisations and forums, harnessing their expertise to ensure that we make informed decisions about our business and avoid any unintended consequences.
ESG issues will always be a strategic priority for the business and the benefits are clear. Risks can be mitigated and opportunities leveraged to create long-term business value. The public want to support responsible companies like the Big Table Group and the most talented people want to work for them.
We do not underestimate the enormity of what lies ahead but we are optimistic that we can drive progress on our ESG agenda to create a real and sustained positive contribution to our business, our environment and society as a whole.
The Big Table Group has an ESG Committee who meets quarterly and is a cross-functional group comprising the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer (Bella Italia), Group Legal Counsel, HR Director and Head of Safety & Risk. It is chaired by the Procurement & Supply Chain Director who also sits on the Executive team and provides ESG progress reports to both the company owner, Epiris and to the Big Table Group’s Executive team at least quarterly.
Day-to-day responsibility of individual ESG activities are assigned specific owners who ensure these are on track against agreed targets and timelines.
Policy reviews are undertaken and signed off by the Executive team after initial reviews by the ESG Committee. Any non-compliances and serious issues are managed by the Executive owner and brought to the Executive team meetings if required.
Many of the ESG challenges and issues we have to address are complex, inter-connected and global in nature. In order to provide clarity and focus to how we manage these, our strategy is split into three pillars: Planet, Product and People. The goals that underpin these pillars are guided by what is directly in our control and where we can make the most difference. And our priorities are determined by those issues that pose the most material risks to our business and are most important to our stakeholders. Our risk register helps inform these priorities based on the likelihood of the risk happening in the short, medium and long-term and the potential business impact.
Once we have collated all this information, we are able to set commitments and targets and plan for future activities.